Nine alleged members of the Bonanno crime family were arrested this week on various “old school mob” charges.
According to CBS, the Bonanno family members are being accused of gambling, loan sharking, extortion and selling drugs. The arrests were made after a two-year investigation into the activities of the family. Police say that they arrested a captain, two capos, a soldier and several associates in the raid. (Don’t worry, there’s a handy graph below to explain the mob hierarchy.)
The crew was reportedly using their union ties to run a $10 million organized criminal enterprise.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said: “Organized crime is by no means extinct. The 158-page indictment demonstrates that organized crime is still operating in New York City and has its hooks into the labour movement.”
The BBC reports that Nicholas Bernhard, the head of Teamsters 917 on Long Island, is being accused of using his power to solicit union members into criminal activities. The indictment states that the Bonanno family used people like Bernhard to grow their criminal enterprise.
The indictment reads: “This crew’s use of a union president in its corrupt activities is detrimental to honest union workers everywhere.”
Officials said that the group brought in more than $9 million annually through various criminal schemes, including an internet gambling ring and the sale of prescription drugs like oxycodone, Viagra and Cialis. They also reportedly sold marijuana.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in a statement: “The organized crime activity described in the indictment is as old as the Bonanno crime family and as relatively new as online betting and trafficking in highly addictive Oxycodone … Either way, it’s corrosive to society and lines the pockets of those who use or sanction violence to enrich themselves.”
Here’s a look at the Bonanno family crime tree.
The Wall Street Journal reports that 7 of the people arrested this week have plead not guilty. Nicholas Santora, who is currently in prison for another crime, has not entered a plea yet.
Does Nicholas Santora sound familiar? How about Nicky The Mouth? Bruno Kirby played the mobster in the film Donnie Brasco.